Draft of the BMU's National Water Strategy published

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On 08.06.2021, the BMU published a draft for a "National Water Strategy". It deals with the challenge of water management in Germany until 2050, especially with regard to climate change. Specifically, ten strategic topics are described, which objectives and measures the BMU is pursuing.

The draft was preceded by a two-year National Water Dialogue with more than 200 participants from water management, agriculture and research, from associations, Länder and municipalities. The National Citizens' Dialogue on Water contributed further ideas and collected the public's demands on policy-makers.

Goals of the National Water Strategy

With the National Water Strategy, the Federal Environment Ministry aims to achieve the following:

  • that even in 30 years' time, sufficient high-quality and affordable drinking water will be available everywhere in Germany at all times,
  • that our groundwater, our lakes, streams and rivers become cleaner,
  • that further overuse and overloading of water resources is avoided,
  • that sewage disposal continues to function excellently and that the costs for this are distributed in a causally and socially equitable manner.
  • and that water management adapts to the consequences of climate and demographic change.

The Water Strategy includes a draft action programme to be implemented gradually over the next few years.

Priority areas and actions for the National Water Strategy

In priority area II, "Adapting water infrastructure to climate change", cities are to be built in a water-sensitive manner, among other things. To this end, the BMU is developing a concept for water-sensitive urban development ("sponge city") together with local authorities and professional associations. "Water-sensitive cities are green and have a lot of unsealed areas to enable the storage and use of rainwater, create habitats for animals and plants and provide cooling. This will help them withstand periods of heat and heavy rain. Existing technical rules will be reviewed to see if they contribute to the preservation of the natural water balance, climate adaptation and urban nature, and revised where necessary."

Within Priority IV "Putting funding for the restructuring of water management on a broad footing", an emergency programme is to be launched. One billion euros are to be made available for watercourse development and adaptation of water management to climate change. In concrete terms, this will be used to implement renaturation measures, the removal of obstacles for migratory species, the shading of water bodies against warming and the recovery or creation of natural reservoirs as a precaution against drought.

Further information and downloads on the "National Water Strategy" can be found at:

and on the "National Water Dialogue" at:

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